Opposition Party In Landmark Online Internal Elections
The Ideas Party of Democracy, an opposition political party in Zimbabwe conducted a first of its kind online internal party elections in an effort to beat the lockdown.
With Zimbabwe under a COVID-19 induced lockdown, large gatherings have been stopped hence rendering it impossible to hold elections the traditional way.
In a statement to the media, IPD leader Herbert Chamuka said the online elections tested the party’s resolve to be organised and democratic, tests which the party passed.
“Over the weekend, the Ideas Party Of Democracy (IPD) conducted the first of its kind online inter-party online elections in Zimbabwe as we beat the lockdown to deliver democracy to our legion of supporters by ushering in new leadership.
“With Zimbabwe still under a COVID-19 lockdown, we needed to come up with ways to ensure that the elections which we had previously rescheduled, went ahead as planned to enable intraparty democracy to prevail,” Chamuka said.
He noted that his party formation has the respect of the laws of the land, hence they could not risk gathering people against government’s regulations.
“We have great care for every citizen hence we did not want to put anyone in harm’s way by exposing them to the ravaging virus which has killed our family members, our friends and neighbours.
“The lockdown put our democracy to test as we were due for elections but we improvised and we delivered. Together with the top leadership of the party and consultations with party supporters, we realized we needed to have online elections which would be fair, credible and democratic,” he further stated.
There have been calls by independent elections lobby bodies to allow elections, both internal and national, to proceed despite the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Chamuka has challenged political party leaders to come together and work for the betterment of the country.
He said leaders must inculcate the spirit of nationalism and put their personal difference aside.
We are not a party that is fighting anyone, we are trying to bring anyone to the table and find solutions for this nation. A win for one is a win for all.
We are ready to engage with the ruling and opposing parties to look at how we can take Zimbabwe out of the doldrums that it finds itself in. The challenges facing Zimbabwe do not require arrogance but need reasoning. We need to put our heads together to work for our nation,” he said.
He further challenged the political leadership in the country to respect the rule of law and human rights if Zimbabwe is to unlock key investments.
“Zimbabwe needs a leader who knows that the country belongs to the 16 million Zimbabweans, not a few individuals. The national cake must be shared equally.
Those are values which make IPD the party of choice. Days of an authoritarian rule must be over, we need democratic leaders. We need unifiers and that is what IPD stands for,” Chamuka said.